The METRO Blue Line extension (Bottineau Transitway) will bring light rail transit (LRT) to the northwest area of the Twin Cities.
With Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park at either end, the 13-mile corridor passes through the cities of Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal. This extension of the Blue (Hiawatha) Line will connect to the Green (Central and Southwest) Line and Northstar Commuter Rail at the Interchange at Target Field Station in Minneapolis.
In June 2012, the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority (HCRRA) recommended construction of the LRT line along West Broadway Avenue in Brooklyn Park, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad corridor, and Olson Memorial Highway/Trunk Highway 55 (called the B-C-D1 Alignment).
As part of the transportation funding and construction process, the Metropolitan Council adopted HCRRA’s recommendations into the region’s 2030 Transportation Policy Plan (TPP) on May 8, 2013. The recommendations of the “Locally Preferred Alternative” (LPA) included the route and mode of transit. All cities along the route passed resolutions of support for the preferred route.
The METRO Blue Line LRT extension is projected to provide approximately 27,000 rides a day by 2030. The project is estimated to cost $1 billion in year 2017 dollars. At this time, it is anticipated that funds for capital costs will come from four sources:
Counties Transit Improvement Board’s transit sales tax in the metro area (30%)
Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (10%)
State of Minnesota (10%)
Federal Transit Administration (50%)
The Council will finalize the cost estimate and develop a potential project schedule in the next phases of work. A schedule for projects like this typically lasts six to nine years beyond the initial study phase that is nearing completion and includes:
Preliminary engineering and final environmental review – 2 to 3 years
Final design – 1 to 2 years
Construction – 3 to 4 years